Yanmar Moth World Championships
Hayama, Japan: Three races kicked off the YANMAR Moth Worlds 2016 taking place in Hayama,Japan, 23-29 May 29th.

Yesterday's practice race gave competitors a bit of a leg stretch, ahead of 3 back to back races today which saw the serious competition get underway. An atmosphere of anticipation in the boat park, set the scene for the day ahead.

A southerly breeze of 5-10 knots dominated the day, starting light and building. By races 2 and 3, the Moth was on show in all its full-on foiling glory.

Great Britain's Robert Greenhalgh, reigning Moth European Champion, made the most of his early familiarisation with the conditions, having arrived in Hayama a week ago. After several days training, Greenhalgh returned to Great Britain, and arrived race ready back in Japan yesterday.

"Since I just arrived in Japan yesterday, I am still suffering from jet lag a little," Greenhalgh explained. "But I am satisfied with today's races and believe I will have a good night's sleep. I expect to keep going for tomorrow's races," he grinned.

Paul Goodison, 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallist in the Laser Class, pushed Greenhalgh hard round the track, hounding his every move, to wrap up with three second place finishes. Rounding out the leaderboard top three is young British sailor, Chris Rashley. An impressive display from Great Britain's competitors, has kept the ambitious Australian contingent well away from today's limelight.

Three races are scheduled on Wednesday. The weather forecast will see an increase in breeze and a new challenge from waves.


New York - Vendee
Fourteen IMOCA 60s will set sail from New York this Sunday in the last major singlehanded race before November's singlehanded non-stop round the world marathon, the Vendee Globe. More than half of the Vendee Globe fleet is taking part in the New York - Vendee (Les Sables d'Olonne) Race presented by Currency House and SpaceCode. This, the fourth event in the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship 2015-2016, will see the solo skippers and their boats leaving set sail from New York on a 3100 mile course across the North Atlantic, bound for the Vendee Globe start-finish port of Les Sables d'Olonne on France's Atlantic coast.

The fleet, currently berthed in Manhattan's North Cove Marina close to 'Ground Zero', includes the six latest generation IMOCA 60s.

Among the six are Armel le Cleac'h and Banque Populaire, recent winners of the Transat bakerly. Runner-up in the last two Vendee Globes, Le Cleac'h is favourite for the race to the Vendee. He will be up against Hugo Boss skipper, Britain's Alex Thomson, who finished the last Vendee Globe in third and who now also has a new generation design and Sebastien Josse on Edmond de Rothschild, stand-out winner of December's Transat St-Barth - Port-la-Foret.

Other leading French entrants include Barcelona World Race two time winner, Jean-Pierre Dick on his new St Michel-Virbac, while leading the charge on 'conventionally' foiled older generation boats will be PRB's Vincent Riou, winner of the 2004 Vendee Globe, and Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir's Yann Elies, a three time winner of the ultra-competitive solo offshore race, the Solitaire du Figaro. Another triple Solitaire winner racing is Jeremie Beyou, skipper of Maitre CoQ, unique in the fleet for being an older generation boat, retrofitted with new generation foils.

Entry list for the New York- Vendee (Les Sables d'Olonne)

Fabrice Amedeo - NEWREST Matmut (France)
Jeremie Beyou - MAITRE COQ (France)
Conrad Colman - 100% NATURAL ENERGY (New Zealand/USA)
Tanguy de Lamotte - INITIATIVES COEUR (France)
Jean-Pierre Dick - StMICHEL VIRBAC (France)
Pieter Heerema - NO WAY BACK (Netherlands)
Sebastien Josse - EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD (France)
Morgan Lagraviere - SAFRAN (France)
Armel Le Cleac'h - BANQUE POPULAIRE VIII (France)
Paul Meilhat - SMA (France)
Vincent Riou - PRB (France)
Kojiro Shiraishi - Spirit of Yukoh (Japan)
Alex Thomson - HUGO BOSS (Great Britain)


ORC Sportboat European Championship
Chioggia, Italy: Just south of Venice in this picturesque port town there is tremendous excitement as preparations are underway now for Thursday's official start of the 2016 edition of the ORC Sportboat European Championship, organized by the Circolo Velico Il Portodimare di Padova in collaboration with the Offshore Racing Congress.

After months of planning and preparation, a record number of 46 entries hailing from Russia, Turkey, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France and Italy will compete on courses set in the Adriatic Sea just off the beach in Sottomarina.

Chioggia's hometown champion Enrico Zennaro has been preparing for being at the helm of the Fat 26 Mind the Gap. Sailing this week under the banner of North West Garda Sailing, Zennaro will have tactical help from Karlo Hmeljack, Olympic champion in London 2012 in the Laser class.

Some other notable talent in Chioggia this week includes Lorenzo Bressani at the helm of the C30 Raptor, and Federica SalvĂ  who has competed in two Olympics in the 470 class and will be on the Blue Sail 24 Gio.Chi assisting Andrea Cittadini with Alessio Marinelli at the helm.

Coming from Turkey, Sukru Sanus was an Olympic champion in 1996 in Atlanta and will be racing the Farr 25 Ruffles to try to improve on his second place performance in last year's ORC Sportboat Europeans in Hungary. Spirito Libero, Claudio Bazzoli's Protagonist 7.50, will be helmed by young Davide Bianchini, who has among his titles Italian Champion in the Ufo 22 class.


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2017 Women's Match Racing World Championship Heading To Helsinki, Finland
World Sailing is pleased to announce that the NJK Sailing Center, Finland has been selected to host the 2017 Women's Match Racing World Championship.

Renowned for its Match Racing pedigree, the NJK Sailing Center in Helsinki will host the 2017 Women's Match Racing World Championship boasting a sailing arena located close to the city centre providing excellent viewing opportunities for spectators.

Together with The Finnish Sailing and Boating Federation and the Finnish Olympic Committee, NJK runs a training centre for elite sailors and has previously hosted the inaugural Youth Match Racing World Championship in 2014. It is also set to hold the first round of the 2016 Women's International Match Racing Series in June.

Applications for the host venue opened in July 2015 with the Evaluation Panel reviewing all received applications. The World Sailing's Board of Directors then endorsed the recommendation made by the Panel.

The selection of the NJK Sailing Center is subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual arrangements. -- Richard Aspland


Volvo Round Ireland Race
Entries for the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016 from Wicklow on June 18th have today sailed through the 62 mark to overtake the previous record established all of 26 years ago in 1990, when numbers totalled 61 writes W M Nixon.

While the underlying economic improvement is undoubtedly a playing a key role in the recovery, four other factors - all of international significance but completely unrelated to each other - have also played their part.

Back in August 2011, all Ireland showed its sympathy and concern when the canting keel of George David's Rambler 100 snapped off just after rounding the rock during the Fastnet Race of that year. This resulted in a disastrous though non-fatal capsize, and in the emotional aftermath, the gallant and popular owner mentioned that some time in the future he'd like to do the Round Ireland Race as a token of his appreciation. That seemingly throwaway remark came good last year when Wicklow Sailing Club first received intimations that the new Rambler 88 had the Round Ireland Race 2016 very much in her programme, which immediately raised the event's profile at international level.

Meanwhile the RORC had acquired its second Irish Commodore in the person of Michael Boyd of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, and as he'd been a winner of the Round Ireland Race of 1996 himself, he wasted no opportunities to promote this special event within his club's programme, and he is an entrant for 2016 in the First 44.7 Lisa.


The World Sailing Show
May's issue:

- Why a moustache is the way to go fast offshore - IMOCA 60 story
- America's Cup racing returns to the Big Apple - ACWS in New York
- The new Olympic class that has been a big hit with women - 49erFX
- How the third placed Olympic nation plans to take Gold - French Olympic campaign
- Star Sailors League
- Extreme Sailing Series
- Land Rover BAR
- Phased breaks another record
- Gabart wins Transat

Costly Mistakes And Cold Winds
Medemblik, Netherlands: The 2016 Delta Lloyd Regatta, incorporating the 2016 Para World Sailing Championships, got off to a cold, windy and bumpy start in Medemblik on Tuesday with the full schedule completed in spite of the adverse conditions.

In the morning the Lasers, RS-X Women, 49er and 2.4 mR sailed in the strongest winds of the day, while in the afternoon, the Laser Radial, RS-X Men, 470, Sonar and Skud 18 got in their races. In all 21 races were sailed with mixed fortunes throughout the fleets and many cold fingers and unforced errors.

The Lasers were the first fleet done for the day with several of the fleet fresh from the World Championship in Mexico. Dutch favourite Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED), who placed a career best third at the World Championship last week led both races for a while, but a series of mistakes cost him two wins.

Maja Dziarnowska (POL) won two races to lead the RS-X Women's fleet from Isis Hoekstra (NED) and Agnieszka Bilska (POL). In the larger RS-X Men's fleet London 2012 gold medalist Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) scored a perfect three wins from three races, while teammate Kiran Badloe (NED) picked up three seconds. Zachary Plavsic (CAN) is third.

On the first day of the Para World Sailing Championships in there were perfect starts for two of the current world champions of the Paralympic classes.

Current 2.4 Norlin OD champion Damien Seguin (FRA) and Great Britain's Sonar team of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas got their championships off to a flyer posting two wins from two races as they look to keep hold of the 2015 titles they won in Melbourne, Australia.

Racing in Medemblik continues to Saturday, when the Olympic classes here will sail their medal races.

The races can be followed live through the event website www.deltalloydregatta.org

Airlie Beach Race Week On Course For Record-Breaking Year
RP66 Alive. Photo by Andrea Francolini, http://www.afrancolini.com Unprecedented early entries, among them Karl Kwok's Beau Geste from Hong Kong, and a new major sponsor in Carlton and United Breweries (CUB), have put Airlie Beach Race on course for a record breaking year.

Now in its 27th year, the Whitsunday Sailing Club hosted event has attracted record levels of sponsorship. Brewing giant, Carlton and United Breweries (CUB), is the latest addition via the company's Great Northern brand.

Beau Geste, the champion TP52 owned by Karl Kwok, will no doubt be the star attraction in the IRC Racing Division

Sixty owners have already confirmed for this year's Festival of Sailing, including Kwok, a devotee of major Australian sailing events. He will come to Airlie Beach with his one-year old boat to 'fine tune', as he targets a hat trick in both the IRC Australian and NSW Championships.

Unquestionably the fastest TP52 to ever race in Australian waters, Beau Geste will represent the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Her crew includes a few Kiwis, such as Gavin Brady, who has been Kwok's right-hand man for years.

Airlie Beach Race Week reigning champion, Matt Allen (Ichi Ban), is unable to defend his title. "It's with deep regret I will not be there, but this year it clashes with the Olympic Games. Allen, the president of Yachting Australia, will spend the first half of the Games at Rio in Brazil with the Australian Sailing Team.

Thai based Tasmanian Phil Turner (owner of the RP66 Alive), is among the contenders currently entered in the IRC Racing division. Skippered by Duncan Hine, the canting keeled former Black Jack won the 2014 Brisbane Gladstone race overall and took line honours in the 1850 nautical mile Melbourne Vanuatu race, setting a new race record.

In March this year, Alive claimed line honours in the Rolex China Sea Race and broke the 16 year-old record held by one of Kwok's former Beau Gestes. -- Di Pearson


Letters To The Editor -
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* From Ted Ruegg: re: World's Largest Ship Model?

I guess the folks at Blue Water Sailing have never been to the Maritime Museum in Barcelona where there is a full size Galley on exhibit.

All 189 feet of her or 60 Meters long.

An impressive sight.

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